NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 H9.05-9443
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Transformational/Over-the-Horizon Communications Technology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive
Pembroke, VA 24136 - 3645
(540) 626-6266

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Richard Claus
158 Wheatland Drive
Pembroke, VA 24136 - 3645
(540) 626-6266

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ms. Melissa Campbell
158 Wheatland Drive
Pembroke, VA 24136 - 3645
(540) 626-6266

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Transformational/Over-the-Horizon Communications Technology is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NanoSonic proposes to design, fabricate and demonstrate the performance of optical detectors that use multiple quantum material effects to overcome fundamental microelectronic device limits. Through prior research, NanoSonic has fabricated single-element optical detectors and theoretically and investigated several quantum material behaviors separately. Here we would combine these technologies into a single device to serve as a "pathfinder" for future quantum materials research and product development. NanoSonic would work with researchers in the Department of Physics at Virginia Tech, and microelectronics scientists at a major US electronics company to analyze and build the devices, and demonstrate the quantum principals on which they are based.

Our proposed prototype detectors will incorporate the following quantum effects.

- Sub-quantum electron transport associated with ballistic electron transport leading to decreased conductor resistances and thermal losses, and in part overcomes Moore's Law
- Resonant sub-optical wavelength antennas that treat incoming optical signals as waves instead of photons
- Metal nanocluster surface plasmon resonance effects to increase detector efficiency
- Tunable bandgap quantum dot detectors that exhibit Multiple Electron Generation effects and quantum efficiencies QE>1

NanoSonic has investigated and published observations of the basic physics of some of these effects. During Phase I we would design, fabricate, test and deliver first-generation materials and devices to NASA, and work with electronics company device engineers to consider how these technologies may be transitioned to future communication system hardware.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The quantum effects to be demonstrated in photodetector prototypes through this SBIR program have multiple long-term applications for NASA. First, photodetectors employing these effects to achieve increased transduction efficiency allow optical communication over longer distances and with increased signal-to-noise ratio and bit error rate. Second, sub-quantum conductance in self-assembled graphene-based materials has multiple potential long-term uses. These include 1) electrical wire and cable with room temperature conductivities greater than copper or silver, 2) microelectronic devices based on sub-electron levels, so reduced gate current, power loss and generated heat, so the ability to increase gate density, 3) increased efficiency in motors and generators due to decreased wire resistance and thermal loss, and 4) the possibility of microelectronic devices and storage based on sub-electron levels. Third, photodetectors that exhibit multiple exciton generation (MEG) and quantum efficiencies >1 will improve the performance of optical communication systems, optical imaging systems, and optics-based instrumentation. In a broader sense, this program will allow the investigation of quantum device effects themselves, and the integration of such effects into microelectronic and optoelectronic products.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The quantum material technologies demonstrated through this program have multiple potential applications of importance outside of future NASA missions and programs. Perhaps most important is the transition of sub-quantum conductance and ballistic electron transport effects at room temperature from theory, to NanoSonic's recent experimental demonstration and publication, to practical materials and devices. Ballistic electron transport could lead to electrical wires and cables that exhibit resistance lower than that of copper and silver at room temperature, so without the need for cooling. Lower resistance wire and cable could improve the efficiency of the electrical power distribution grid, all-electric operations and weapons systems on military platforms, and electric motors and generators. Additionally, such materials could reduce heat generation in microelectronic devices and memories, allow smaller size, increased gate density, and reduced cooling requirements. This is to massive computer systems to personal communication devices. Finally, improved optoelectronic components have applications ranging from fiber optic communication networks to large area displays to cell phone cameras.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Circuits (including ICs; for specific applications, see e.g., Communications, Networking & Signal Transport; Control & Monitoring, Sensors)
Detectors (see also Sensors)
Manufacturing Methods
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Materials (Insulator, Semiconductor, Substrate)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59